Deal with everything from sore feet to dried out hair with these easy hacks and fast fixes.
It's the most wonderful time of the year...except for all of the annoying beauty problems that come along with cold weather, stress, and trying to look #fancy all the time. Happily, these fast fixes will get you back into the spirit (and looking gorgeous), stat.
1. Chipped Nails
Gift-wrapping, cooking, cleaning, tree-trimming...you name the holiday activity, it's likely to take a toll on your mani. And since skipping polish isn't an option (who doesn't love a festive red this time of year?), try these easy tricks to ensure long-lasting color. First, whether you go to the salon or take the DIY route, always opt for a dry manicure (i.e. no soaking your nails in H2O). "Water makes nails expand. As they dry, they contract and you're left with tiny spaces that the color didn't cover. That's where the chipping can start," explains celebrity manicurist Geraldine Holford. Rethink how you apply the base coat, too; paint on a thin coat along the entire nail, then a second just along the top half and tip, where chipping is most likely. And if you do end up with less-than-perfect tips, swipe a glitter polish, like China Glaze Holiday Micro Mini Nail Lacquer in Bring on the Bubbly ($3; ulta.com), along the edges. The effect is fun and festive, and no one will ever know that you are trying to conceal chips.
2. Tired Eyes
Party hopping plus long layovers plus late night online shopping sessions equal some seriously dark circles. If your standard concealer M.O. isn't cutting it this time of the year, start patting it on, rather than swiping or rubbing. "This helps keep the product in place, which is great for building coverage," explains celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli. Still not enough? "Dust a tiny bit of the leftover blush or bronzer that's on your brush along the undereye area," he says. "The warmth of that color will camouflage any remaining darkness." (More holiday beauty hacks for common skin care woes this way.)
3. Sore Feet
After you're done making holiday cookies, keep that rolling pin on hand, says Dr. Lamya Kamel, Director of Acupuncture at Aligned Modern Health in Chicago. "It makes for the perfect, at-home massage tool to help stretch out tight, strained muscles," she says. While seated, simply move the pin from the ball of the foot to the heel, leaning forward to apply more pressure if needed. Sweet relief!
4. Pesky Pimples
Consider it cruel irony that just when you really don't want a pimple to crop up, a breakout is more likely than ever. Credit not only excess stress but all the sugary food and drinks that are an unavoidable part of the season. For a speedy blemish buster, hit the kitchen and dab a tiny of bit of yogurt (plain, please) on any zits and leave on overnight. "It's anti-inflammatory and will tone down redness, and it also contains lactic acid, which gently exfoliates to keep skin clear," says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection. Adding a probiotic supplement is also a smart move: "Not only will it help reduce the likelihood of acne flares that come along with a sugary diet, but it will also help fight holiday bloat," notes New York-based dermatologist, Kavita Mariwalla, M.D.
5. Stained Teeth
There's nothing quite like glancing in the mirror and realizing that the hot toddy or glass of Merlot you've been enjoying has left its mark on your pearly whites. To prevent the staining effects, Dr. Brian Kantor, a cosmetic dentist at Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in NYC, advises coating teeth with a thin layer of Vaseline prior to drinking red wine. It acts as a barrier that also helps keep lipstick off your teeth. If you forget to do so, hang near the crudité platter; eating hard and crunchy veggies like celery or cucumbers can help remove some of the dark stains.
6. Dry Skin
Sure, there's no place like home for the holidays, but getting there can take a toll on your skin. The air inside an airplane is dry with a capital 'D,' not to mention that anytime you change locations and climates your skin can become dehydrated. For a heavy hit of hydration, Mariwalla suggests doubling up on masks. Layer a soothing gel mask, like SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque ($55; skinceuticals.com), underneath a hydrating sheet mask; she recommends Alba Botanica Fast Fix Sheet Mask Hydrate Coconut Water ($4; target.com). Sleep in this power combo and wake up to a smoother, softer, complexion.
7. Damaged Hair
Constant hot tool styling coupled with cold, dry air can leave your hair less than manageable. Since we totally get that air drying for the rest of the month isn't an option, focus on adding back moisture to keep your hair looking—and feeling—soft and smooth long past New Year's Eve. Try this (super) easy DIY treatment, courtesy of Adam Bogucki, owner of Lumination Salon in Chicago: Combine two tablespoons of coconut oil with one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply throughout your hair, then watch your favorite holiday movie (you deserve a little downtime!). Once it's over, shampoo and condition as normal. Do this weekly, or even more often if your hair needs extra TLC. (Here, your beauty fixes for stress, alcohol, chaotic travel, and a less-than-healthy diet.)